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Milk Myths

Milk is a staple of nearly every single American home of today. It is considered a healthy beverage, containing vitamins, minerals, and protein. In fact, if someone were to ask you what a good source of calcium is, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For many, it's milk. But the truth is that the typical homogenized, pasteurized milk of today is not a very good source of many minerals. Levels of manganese, chromium, selenium, and magnesium are all higher in fruit and vegetables than in milk.

Magnesium is of special consideration, because not only is it the most commonly deficient mineral of today, but it works alongside calcium. The ideal ratio for calcium to magnesium is 2:1; you need about twice the amount of calcium as you do magnesium. The ratio of calcium to magnesium in milk is 10:1, which means that if milk is the primary source of calcium, then magnesium is likely to be deficient. Foods such as carrots, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower provide both of these minerals in a more appropriate ratio, as well as provide an array of other essential nutrients.

Consumption of homogenized, pasteurized cow's milk is highly linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. A big part of the reason for this is due to milk's poor calcium to magnesium ratio. More than any other mineral, magnesium protects against heart disease. Additionally, when one consumes this milk, their body actually produces an antibody against the milk. Not only does this suggest that milk isn't an ideal food for human consumption, but this antibody in the blood has been linked to heart disease.

In fact, 70% of people stop producing lactase, the enzyme that digests milk sugar, once they stop drinking milk. If this wasn't evidence enough, another major problem associated with the modern cow's milk of today is the high number of antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals that, among other things, disrupt our own hormones. This hormone disruption is another reason why milk consumption is highly linked with cancers such as breast and prostate, because the breast and prostate are stimulated to grow by hormone messages. Increasing the levels of hormones (via milk) can cause the cells in these areas to overgrow, which can lead to cancer.

Milk is also an acidifying food, and though it's high in calcium, pasteurized, homogenized milk can actually lead to bone issues such as osteoporosis. This is rather ironic, because we are told that if we want to have strong bones, we need to drink plenty of milk. In actuality, because typical milk is so acidifying, it causes issues like bone loss. The body operates at a very specific and narrow pH range, and when there is too much acid in the blood, it needs to be neutralized. Often, the minerals used to neutralize the excess acid are pulled from the bones. This is why the acidifying effect of milk is a problem for bone health.

The bottom line is that it would be wise to discontinue consumption of the typical homogenized, pasteurized cow's milk that is so common today. The good news is that this doesn't mean that you can never drink 'milk' again! There are many alternatives that make great, healthy milk replacements, many of which are preferred to cow's milk because they come in vanilla, chocolate, sweetened, unsweetened, and other options. Some cow's milk alternatives include:
  • Raw cow's milk
  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Rice milk
  • Hemp seed milk
  • Oat milk
  • Soy milk
  • Milk from nearly any seed or nut can be made and used as a replacement
Source: The New Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holfordrn"

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